Geo Soctomah Neptune (Niskapisuwin) (Passamaquoddy, b. 1988) is a Master Basketmaker, educator, and activist, known for their work in ash basketry. Neptune began weaving since they were four years old, learning basketmaking traditions from their grandmother, Molly Neptune Parker H’15, a well-recognized Passamaquoddy basket maker. At eleven years old, Neptune began teaching with the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance and became the youngest person to receive the title of Master Basketmaker at twenty.
They graduated from Dartmouth College in 2010 with a degree in Theater and decided to return home to Indian Township, Maine. It was upon their return that they developed their artistic basketmaking style, a mixture of traditionally influenced and historically informed basketry. Their work is often adorned with spiritually and culturally significant birds and flowers. In 2021, Neptune was awarded a $50,000 fellowship through United States Artists for their work in black ash basketry. As an educator and activist, Geo Neptune has worked towards cultural preservation within Wabanaki communities and has also spoken out about contemporary issues faced by Indigenous people. In 2020, they became Maine’s first transgender, nonbinary, two-spirit elected official when they were elected to represent the Indian Township School District. Neptune identifies as two-spirit – an indigenous cultural, spiritual, and gender role that holds space between masculine and female energies. As such, Neptune uses the pronouns “they/them.”
Other Artist Information: Pronouns: they/them